Chicken With a Side of Politics

Instead of “do you want fries with that?” food critics now substitute “do you want politics with that?” For years they have flavored their food reviews with a big helping of liberalism. Deplorables are asked to shut up and choke down what their betters serve.

Anthony Bourdain, Chef Jose Andres, food writers at the New York Times and Washington Post, spice store Penzey’s owner and a buffet of others have declared their hatred for Trump and their love of Leftist policies. Their message: Eat it!

Now add the former CA food writer Jennifer Biggs to this leftist smorgasbord. She’s dabbled in it before, but a story about chicken sandwiches around town in The Daily Memphian today shows exactly where her tastes lie. It’s entitled “Chicken Sandwich Saints, Sinners, Losers and Winners.”

Saints and sinners in fried chicken for heaven’s sake – is there a moral component to their herbs-spice-breading mix?

(Funny because today’s CA also features a story on the best fried chicken around town. They are not worried about potential racism charges by putting a black man stereotypically chomping on a drumstick on the front of the food section.Too bad he couldn’t have been chomping on a piece of white watermelon.)

But getting back to Jen. She announces she wants to test Popeye’s, Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s. She writes, “It’s hard to think of two chicken joints more different than Chick-fil-A and Popeye’s, and we’re living in fractured times. We’re caught up in a match between Saturday night and Sunday morning.”

I don’t know what that means except that Chick-fil-A is not open on Sundays. It continues:

“On the one hand, Chick-fil-A: Here’s a company that found itself at the center of controversy a few years ago when CEO Dan Cathy, son of the company’s founder, made comments against gay marriage and donated money to help defeat the legalization of same-sex marriage.
“In 2012, the restaurants were ground zero for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, led by former Arkansas governor and conservative talk-radio host Mike Huckabee, followed two days later by ‘National Same Sex Kiss Day,’ organized by various gay rights groups and given the nickname ‘Kiss Mor Chiks,’ a poke at the restaurant’s billboards that feature cows painting misspelled words urging people to eat ‘mor chikin’.”

What does that have to do with the taste of the sandwich? About as much as her followup: “Popeye’s, on the other hand, started in a New Orleans suburb, founded by native son Al Copeland, who was known for various displays of flamboyance in his life. It was reportedly named after Popeye Doyle in ‘The French Connection.’ Dr. John sang its ‘Love That Chicken’ jingle, and Anthony Bourdain on numerous occasions professed his love for this bad-boy chicken.”

Has she thrown racism in the chicken sandwich review too?

Biggs claims that at neither restaurant was she able to get a chicken sandwich. That’s surprising. Is it true?

So she goes to Wendy’s. There, too, she manages to take a bite out of conservatives.

“Wendy’s is no slouch in the fast-food chicken sandwich game – and there was certainly nothing controversial about the likable owner/philanthropist Dave Thomas and the gruff Clara Peller on the “Where’s the Beef?” commercials – so I added it to the mix.”
She finally manages to get a sample of all and guess which she prefers: “It was like Popeye’s was playing Quidditch and the rest were playing cricket. Four of us tasted five sandwiches, and while we didn’t agree on the second- and third-place winners, we all picked Popeye’s spicy chicken sandwich as the frontrunner by far.”

Quidditch, by the way, is described as “a wizarding sport played on broomsticks. It is the most popular game and most well-known game among wizards and witches, and, according to Rubeus Hagrid, the equivalent to Muggles’ passion for football (Soccer).”
I guess that shows how cool she is. At least among the older I-still-believe-I-am-hip crowd.

Biggs adds, “I’ve never been a Chick-fil-A fan, and truthfully that’s more about the controversy than the food. I could probably count the number of times I’ve been there on one hand, mostly in a mall food court long ago.”

She’s the outsider on this. Chick-fil-A is America’s No. 1 favorite. Just yesterday Fox commentator Dan Bongino mentioned that even in 80% liberal Manhattan, the Chick-fil-A across from Fox’s headquarters was mobbed everyday. They seem to be able to put aside differences for a tasty tidbit.

Can’t we just eat our chicken sandwich without slapping on the Social Justice warrior condiment? This stuff is finger lickin’ bad.

Everyone knew that New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne and author James Beard were gay. They never felt the need to push for gay rights. I believe they would have found it a tasteless thing to do. The job is about restaurants, food and cooking – not politics.

Too bad today’s writers, even on a local level, feel their job is political activist.
But then again, who doesn’t nowadays?

That’s everything wrong with journalism today and we’ve all lost our appetite for it.

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